Juneteenth is now recognized by the City of Cincinnati as a city holiday following unanimous approval by City Council members on June 8.
Councilmember Victoria Parks, who proposed the Juneteenth Holiday to the Council, said so much tribute is being made to Emancipation in America that it appropriate the City officially recognize the holiday, which will be a paid holiday for city employees.
“I am so happy we can make this happen this year,” Parks said.
June 19 is celebrated as “Juneteenth,” in honor of one of the final acts of emancipation of slaves in the U.S. This year, June 19 falls on a Sunday, so the federal holiday – established in 2021 by President Joe Biden as a federal holiday – will be observed on Monday, June 20.
The City of Cincinnati now has 11 employee paid holidays, including Juneteenth, Parks said, which her research showed is about average for most metropolitan cities.
Councilmember Scotty Johnson said, “It is blessing to have the Council’s spirit of cooperation on this.”
“This is a real sign of healing and coming together,” said Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney.
Councilmember Greg Landsman added Juneteenth is an important holiday, and it is good the City is joining other cities in recognizing it.
And Mayor Aftab Pureval said Cincinnati has waited far too long to officially celebrate Juneteenth.